Cromwell's Report on the Battle of Naseby.

Cromwell was a man of strange genius and complex character, an extraordinary mixture of greatness and baseness, of sincerity and deceit, of nobility and cruelty, of tolerance and fanaticism. Every possible contrast is seen in his stormy nature, a prey to political and religious passions and the consuming worries of ambition.

At the beginning of the Civil War (1642) Cromwell obtained a commission as a Captain of the Horse, and recruited a a force in the Eastern Counties, made up of farmers, of sons of well to do husbandmen, and war-hardened troopers, who were given the name of "Cromwell's Ironsides". With these he routed the King's Cavalry in a number of encounters that decided the issue of the great battles of Marston Moor (1644) and Naseby (1645).

The latter was the more decisive in bringing about the downfall of Charles I, since it led to his internment at Holmby, his arraignment before a High Court of Justice, and finally his execution. It is said that, moved as it were by a vindictiveness still unsatisfied, Cromwell insisted on looking at the dead body of his adversary in his coffin.

Click here to view larger Oliver Cromwell documentThe letter reproduced here, of great historical interest, was sent by Cromwell to Mr Lenthal, Speaker of the House of Commons, informing him of the Roundheads' victory over the Royalists at Naseby, and was written on the evening of the battle...

(British Museum)
[Cromwell, Oliver (1599-1658), led the armed forces of Parliament to victory in the English Civil War during the 1640's, and ruled England from 1653 to 1658. He had an iron will and proved to be a military genius. Few leaders have inspired more love and respect or more fear and hatred.]

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